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Crispy Duck Legs with Courgette and Basil sauce

Crispy Duck Legs with Courgette and Basil sauce

By Mela Baldock
25, June 2020

It's the brand new foodie craze - KFD. A bit more grown up than it's chicken sibling, our Kentucky Fried Duck takes a nod to the fast food version in that they're both fried, but the similarities tend to end there. The essence of the perfect leg of duck is its crisp skin and tender meat. Here, crisp-skinned, roasted then fried duck legs are paired gorgeously with a creamy, fragrant sauce that is sure to keep you coming back for more. 

Just to make things even easier, the sauce can be made ahead of time - perhaps in the 4 hours that the duck is in the oven! Just make sure it is well covered and cooled before you want to serve. By itself, the sauce is delicious over crusty bread or drizzled over a salad as an irresistible herby dressing. 

 The ultimate 'fast food' treat, you won't be going back to any takeaway after tasting this dish!


For the Crispy Duck

4 Properly Free Range Duck Legs
1kg  Saddleback Lard or Properly Free Range Goose Fat
Small bunch rosemary
1 halved bulb of garlic
Handful of breadcrumbs

2 eggs
Small handful of plain flour
1 tbsp paprika
½ tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin

For the Courgette and Basil sauce 

3 medium courgettes
2 chopped cloves garlic
Small bunch thyme, picked
300ml good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Half bunch of basil


Firstly, coat the duck legs with a good pinch of salt, then loosely cover. Leave for about an hour, then wash off the salt and pat the legs dry.

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees approx 15 mins before the hour is up. 

Add the fat to a deep baking dish, and then submerge the legs in the fat along with the rosemary and halved bulb of garlic. Cover the baking dish with the meat in with a lid or tin foil. Place into an oven set at 130 degrees c for 4 hours or till soft.

After 4 hours, the meat should be wonderfully soft. Gently, remove the legs from the hot fat and leave to chill on the side.

For the crisp coating, you will need three separate bowls with the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs that has been mixed with the paprika, cumin and cayenne and a pinch of salt. 

After you have prepped your coating, take a heavy based pot and fill halfway with vegetable oil. The oil needs to be deep enough to submerge the legs and heated to approx. 180C.

Whilst the oil is heating up, coat the legs in first the flour, then the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs. They should be generously covered and then gently shaken to get rid of any excess. 

Once the oil is hot, carefully place the legs into the pan. Deep fry the legs for approximately 5 minutes or till golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel or cloth.

Season with a small pinch of salt and serve with fresh rocket and the sauce. 

To make the courgette and basil sauce

Roughly chop the courgette. In a heavy-based pan, add the courgette, garlic and thyme with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. 

On a low heat, cook the veg down for approximately five minutes or until it is soft. 

To the pan, add the basil. Using a stick blender, blend the mix till it is a glorious bright green and smooth paste. Season if needed and serve on the side of the crispy duck legs. 

Crispy Duck Legs

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